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Tether management system (TMS), anybody?

(Craig) #1

I am in the process of designing a caged TMS system for the BlueROV2, anyone else working on this. I designed one under contract for VideoRay about 10-11 years ago and built it. (see below) It had a 500ft down tether, 130 ft of fly out tether for the system, external camera and light with provisions for more. Pretty sure I included a heading thruster option as well. So, anyone working on something similar, maybe a larger system flyout option?

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(Etienne Demers) #2

Hi Craig,

Looks pretty sweet. Are you using a bayler arm?

I’ve been working on several Winch/TMS designs for the BR2. The problem is weight and how to launch it and remain portable and cost effective.

I got as far as designing a davit/Winch that can fit in Pelican case but this would not be strong enough to carry a TMS.

There lies the problem you will need to address I think.


The main benefit is the weighted reference point so the ROV isn’t feeling the effects of dragging around a bunch of tether. With the tether lengths limited by the homeplug module and with an 8-thruster system, I’m not sure there’s a need for a TMS within the BR product line. With the BR tether, you could just add a little weight to the tether however many meters up from the ROV if you really wanted to. As we see more third party power supply systems and fiber systems using heavier tether and going deeper, those are the folks that will want a TMS at some point. If you made one, I’d make one with that in mind, which means thinking about optical sliprings and higher voltage/current sliprings and a winch that can handle ideally up to 400m of up to 9mm tether and then maybe another 100m on the TMS. Could pull back from that in the beginning, but that’s about what I’d aim for; 500m total.

(Craig) #4

My first design was a bail arm TMS, we used it when I found the wreck of the “Lady Luck” on the east coast, second iteration was a tractor drive, which still does not require the slip ring but requires better less ROV tether or things get messy.

With such a setup the whole “portability” thing goes out the window. This would be for long duration jobs working from a fixed platform (barge, DP vessel, etc.,) operating one or two systems in the water simultaneously.